Friday, 25 September 2009

Thankless task...............


Having waved goodbye to 75% of my molds yesterday, I am now bogged down in a clean up operation, the futility of which is 'doing my head in'.

To explain.

Every porcelain dollmaker will have a sizeable collection of what we optimistically call, 'odds and ends' and consists mainly of odd arms and legs along with an assortment of mis-matched heads and bodies. Odd limbs especially have been the bane of my life. Occasionally, during the casting/soft cleaning/firing process, a finger, thumb or heel of a ladies boot will ping off, rendering the pair unusable. Of course, if had been sensible over the past 20 or so years, I would just have jettisoned not just the broken limb, but its undamaged partner too.

However, I generally kept the unbroken limb, reasoning that the law of averages would work in my favour, and at some point in the indeterminate future, I would end up breaking the other half of any particular pairing, and therefore be in a position to pair up complete sets of limbs .......eventually.

Of course life just isn't like that. Instead I have dozens of one specific ladies arm, or high-heeled shoe/leg, which gradually accumulate in ever larger numbers, taking up space and of no use whatsoever.

Having just sold the majority of my molds, I cannot now make any of the corresponding limbs to make matching pairs. So all of the trays and boxes of odd and ends are, to all intents and purposes, surplus to requirements. However, before ditching the whole lot, I am sorting through, trying, Frankenstein-like, to create sets of limbs to go with various bodies.

It's a thankless task. The nearest thing I can compare it to, is trying to assemble a giant jigsaw, for which you don't have the box lid with the guide picture. Not only that, some of the pieces are missing, and to make matters worse, some pieces of various other jigsaws are mixed in too.

Thus far I've managed to assemble perhaps a dozen all-bisque children and babies using a selection of arms and legs from the odds and ends box. They're all absolutely fine and look great, but it's taking forever and I'm losing the will to live. I'm so close to just tipping all the boxes into the bin and getting on with something more lucrative but I feel a (possibly) misplaced loyalty to all those arms and legs, kept for so many years, on the off-chance that they might, one day, come in useful.

I'm going to give it another hour or so then that's it.

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